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9/25 - We cycled on the narrow roads into the Natural Park of Sao Mamede Hills.

The fields are quiet, and Granite rocks pop up everywhere.

Our destination was the fortfied, hilltop, walled town of Marvao.

                   

ABOVE - One of the villages we rode through was in the middle of restoration.

                   

                   

BELOW - We spent a little time with locals today

                   

BELOW - Another great picnic lunch!

                   

BELOW - Sights along the road

                     

BELOW - Just love the Portuguese yellow and white

                   

BELOW - Arrival at Marvao

                  

The small town of Marvăo (3750 inhabitants) in the Northern Alentejo (Alto Alentejo) Region,

close to the frontier with Spain, is one of the most amazing fortified villages in Portugal.

                   

                   

Huddled atop a mountain 860 meters (2,820 feet ) tall, the main attraction of this medieval town

is the Castle of Marvăo, which dates back to the 9th century, where the knight of Islam,

named Ibn Maruan, sheltered himself in this castle and gave birth to the name of the town.

It was later conquered by Christians, which substantially improved the fortifications.

                   

The Castle, with its thick walls, battlements and towers, has an ample view

over the mountainous landscape and the sun-baked plains of the Alentejo Region.

                   

What  makes this experience unique is walking through the tangle of cobblestone streets,

and discovering the alleys and corners in silence, with no tourists wandering around.

                             

                             

Another yummy meal!